Bill Hammond

Senior Fellow for Health Policy

As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.

Bill has authored reports critiquing a proposed state-run single-payer health care system, documenting Albany’s excessive reliance on health insurance taxesanalyzing the pros and cons of “block-granting” Medicaid, and examining the regulatory missteps surrounding the collapse of Health Republic Insurance.

He also published numerous op-eds and contributes regularly to NY Torch, the Empire Center’s policy blog.

Before joining the Empire Center in 2016, Bill spent almost three decades in newspaper journalism, most recently as a columnist and editorial board member at the New York Daily News from 2005 to 2015.

Before joining the Daily News, Hammond previously wrote for The New York SunThe Daily Gazette of Schenectady and The Post-Star of Glens Falls. His work has also appeared in Politico New York, the New York Post, City & State, the Albany Times Union, The Buffalo News and The 74.

A graduate of Albany High School and Harvard University, Hammond lives in Saratoga Springs.

Latest Work

The newly posted July cash report from the comptroller's office shows that state-funded Medicaid expenditures ran over budget projections by $665 million, or almost 8 percent, through the first four months of the fiscal year. If that pattern continues, the full-year overage would approach $2 billion. Read More

State-regulated health premiums for 2020 are rising faster than the medical inflation rate for the sixth year in a row, yet the officials who signed off on the hikes insist they have saved consumers money – because average premiums are lower than what insurers originally requested. Positive spin notwithstanding, it's increasingly evident that the state's nine-year-old price-control regime, known as "prior approval," is failing as a strategy to keep health costs in check. Read More

The Cuomo administration's quarterly budget update includes a warning for the state's health-care industry: Medicaid cuts could be coming. The report, released Tuesday, says officials are developing a plan to reduce Medicaid spending that could include "across-the-board rate reductions to health care providers and plans." Read More

New York's employer-sponsored health insurance premiums – which were already among the steepest in the mainland United States – rose faster than the national average in 2018, pushing the state's affordability gap to new heights. Read More

This year's state budget came with a hidden asterisk: In the final throes of his negotiations with legislative leaders, Governor Cuomo quietly postponed a month's worth of Medicaid payments from the last week of March to the first week of April – shifting $1.7 billion in spending from one fiscal year to the next. Read More

At Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gave a misleading description of the "Medicare for All" proposal that she says she helped to write – implying that it calls for a voluntary buy-in rather than mandatory government coverage. Read More

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
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About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.